Gilago left it late to post her first win in town but her connections would be the first to concede she doesn’t owe them anything.
The talented 6yo mare won the Le Pine Funerals Hcp (3000m) at Sandown on Wednesday for trainer Robbie Griffiths and a syndicate that includes Maurice Sinclair and Mandy Allen of Victorian Equine Tuition Services.
Gilago (6m Churchill Downs – Encosta di Nero by Encosta De Lago) was purchased by Doncaster Bloodstock’s Les Young for $36,000 at 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale. The latest purse increased her earnings to $166,000 which includes $41,000 in bonuses from VOBIS.
The flashy chestnut owns a pedigree that would have attracted a buyers like Young. She’s a descendant of famed matriarch Lady Josephine and is from a half-sister to the stakes placed city winner Tigresque. It’s also the family of stakes winning stayers Time Off and Grandiloquent.
“Robbie has had a very high opinion of her ability from the outset but she had a terrible habit of missing the kick in the early days,” Mandy Allen said. “His team did a lot of work before she started putting it all together on the track.”
Griffiths considered a G2 Adelaide Cup start for Gilago but lowered the bar to tackle a midweek marathon in Melbourne. She had paid her dues with wins at Donald, Warrnambool (2), Ballarat & Pakenham (2) before a career-highlight on the Hillside.
Apprentice Ben Allen loves Gilago and has even been seen taking selfies with her at the stables. There was no need for a photo on Wednesday – they bolted in by more than three lengths.